The European Union declared its intention to develop a legal framework to impose sanctions on Lebanese leaders involved in the Beirut blast.
The European legal efforts are led by France as Lebanon prepares to mark the first anniversary of the Beirut Port blast.
The EU hopes to have developed the framework for the sanctions by the end of July.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters in Brussels: “I can say that the objective is to complete this by the end of the month. I am not talking about the implementation of the regime, just the building of the regime according to sound legal basis.”
“Lebanon has been in self-destruct mode for several months,” French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said. “Now there is a major emergency situation for a population that is in distress.”
This came as Lebanon is due to mark the first anniversary of the Beirut Port blast amid growing popular protests demanding the lifting of senior officials’ immunity in the port blast probe .
Rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also called for a UN investigation into the explosion in light of the stalled investigation.
More than 200 people were killed during the tragic explosion, while thousands were injured.